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Sunday, April 21, 2024

R Ashwin Breaks Muttiah Muralitharan’s World Record

Leading off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin made history in his 100th Test on Sunday, breaking Muttiah Muralitharan’s global record with the greatest bowling stats.

Ashwin grabbed nine wickets in his 100th Test, including his record-breaking dismissal of Ben Foakes on Day 3 of the series’ fifth and final Test at Dharamsala.

Muralitharan recorded statistics of 9/141 in his 100th Test, while Ashwin finished with 9/128.

Ashwin had enjoyed an impressive outing in the first innings of the Test against England in Dharamsala, picking four wickets to help the side wrap up the visitors’ innings on 218. While he had a forgettable outing with the bat – a duck in the first innings – Ashwin did what he does best with the ball as India took the field on the third day.

Ashwin wasted no time making his mark with the ball, snatching a wicket in his very first over — only the second of the innings — as he sent Ben Duckett packing for just two runs. With a brilliant delivery, Ashwin dismantled Duckett’s stumps, granting India an early breakthrough. He swiftly followed up by dismissing the dangerous Zak Crawley.

In the tenth over, Ashwin struck again, outsmarting Ollie Pope with a cleverly bowled short delivery, catching him off guard as he attempted a sweep shot.

Another milestone moment for Ashwin came in the last over before Lunch when he dismissed the English captain, Ben Stokes. With just two balls remaining before lunch, Ashwin delivers a deceptive slider. Stokes, attempting to defend with a big forward lunge, leaves the gate open, allowing the ball to crash into the middle and off stump.

This took Ashwin past the Indian duo of Anil Kumble and Kapil Dev, who were tied for most wickets by an Indian in the 100th Test (7). Minutes after the start of the second session, Ashwin picked his 36th five-wicket haul when he dismissed wicketkeeper-batter Ben Foakes for 8, castling his middle and leg stump.

In addition, he became the second Indian player to capture a fifer in his 100th Test match with this, following Kumble, who, remarkably, had also claimed five wickets in the second innings of his historic match against Sri Lanka (2005). More crucially, Ashwin eclipsed Kumble’s record for the most five-wicket hauls by an Indian in Test history; the veteran leg-spinner departed with 35 fifers.

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